Lazy Afternoon

By Enola Jones

It was a rare quiet moment outside Four Corners Settlement. Chris lay on his back, chewing on a piece of seaweed and watching the creatures drift lazily by. The creatures – like the humans – had adapted to deep conditions now that the ocean was lit and warm.

The crab family that scurried by kicked up a bit of sediment. Papa crab came back and corralled one of his babies that stayed and looked at the large human a little too long. He was obviously scolding it.

Chris smiled at that.

As always, a shark came by. As always, it and Chris had a stare-down.

As always, Chris won.

A dark shadow suddenly blotted out the light. Startled, Chris looked up – and gaped.

Slowly – so slowly it seemed to take forever – a massive giant squid sailed lazily by. No ink – it was under no threat from the diminutive human staring at it. It took its time, enjoying itself and its swim. It was king of its domain – and it knew it.

As Chris watched it, he kept thinking of Josiah and how glad he was that the big man wasn’t there. Every time he saw a squid – of any size – he’d start going on and on about death and how it would come for him as tentacles.

This would send the preacher’s son into apocalyptic prayers!

Even after the squid was gone, Chris stood, staring after it. He stood there until a cold nose pushed at his back. Turning, Chris realised his mount was ready to go. He rubbed the equine nose and checked the cyborg’s oxygen levels. “Ready to go in?” he asked. At the answering bob of the large head, he smiled. “Yeah. So’m I.”

Again, his eyes were drawn to the track the enormous squid had taken. “So’m I.”

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